Victor Robles
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Víctor Robles day-to-day with hamstring injury

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Nationals center fielder is Víctor Robles day-to-day with a tweaked hamstring, according to multiple reports following Friday’s 4-2 win over the Dodgers. Robles will presumably undergo further evaluation over the next several days, though it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to recover in time to contribute during Game 3 of the NLDS or whether he’ll require a more protracted period of rest.

The injury occurred in the top of the eighth inning. With a one-run lead, two runners on first and second, and no outs, Robles stepped to the plate against Dustin May and squared for a bunt. He bumped the ball out to third baseman Justin Turner and attempted to beat it out at first base, but pulled up in visible discomfort and limped his way back to the dugout. The Nationals weren’t taking any chances; they pulled him in the bottom of the inning and sent Michael A. Taylor out to man center field for the remaining inning and a half.

Robles, 22, has gone 2-for-8 in three postseason games so far. He collected his first extra-base hit — a double — during Friday’s win, and his sac bunt helped put Ryan Zimmerman in position to score the Nationals’ fourth and final run of the night. He’s also coming off of a solid regular season campaign, one that saw him bat .255/.326/.419 with 17 home runs, 28 stolen bases, and 2.5 fWAR through 617 plate appearances. Should the Nationals lose him for any extended period of time, it’s likely to have a significant impact on their playoff chances moving forward.

Hinch, Luhnow, will be eligible in 2021 even if there are no games in 2020

A.J. Hinch (left) and Jeff Luhnow (right)
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You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.

That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.

It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.